Apple has unveiled a taller, 4G-enabled iPhoneat an event in San Francisco.  Apple CEO Tim Cook and vice president of marketing Phil Schiller took the stage at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, where Apple has held many past product launches, to release the newest, largest, fastest iPhone ever.

“It’s an absolute jewel,” Schiller told the crowd of fans.

Made entirely of glass and aluminum, Schiller said the new version of Apple’s flagship device is 18 percent thinner than before and 20 percent lighter than the 4S. It sports a larger, 4-inch screen, meaning the company could fit in an extra row of icons.

The iPhone 5 will come in black and white, and will start shipping on Sept. 21 in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., France, Germany, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. By the end of the year, it will be sold in 100 countries via 240 carrier partners around the world. Pre-orders begin Sept. 14.

The smartphone will be available for $199 (16GB), $299 (32GB), and $399 (64GB) with a two-year contract. The price of the iPhone 4S 16GB drops to $99, while the 8GB iPhone 4 will be available for free.

The iPhone 5’s camera boasts an 8-megapixel sensor, backside illumination, a hybrid IR filter, five-element lens, f/2.4 aperture – and it’s all 25 percent smaller than earlier iPhone cameras. It also offers 1080p HD video capture, better stabilization, face detection for up to 10 faces, and the ability to take photos while recording video. There’s also a Panorama mode.

The iPhone 5 will run a revamped A6 processor, which Apple said boasts a 2x faster CPU and 2x faster graphics than the A5. The new chip is also 22 percent smaller.

That processor will be able to take advantages of games like EA’s Real Racing 3, which includes a time-shifted multi-player feature and will be available in the App Store later this year, according to EA.

Apple said the iPhone 5’s battery life will top that of the iPhone 4S with eight hours of talk time, 10 hours of video playback, 40 hours of music playback, eight hours of LTE browsing, and 225 hours of standby.


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